Out of Afghanistan By End of Year

Mar 18, 2011 Issues: The War in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC– U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) released the following statement today after the U.S. House took a vote this week to remove American forces from Afghanistan by December 31, 2011:

“Our brave men and women in uniform are executing the mission in Afghanistan with dedication and extraordinary competence.  They have done all we have asked of them.  The time has now come to begin the planning necessary to bring our troops home by the end of the year.  Instead of spending nearly $8 billion American taxpayer dollars per month building Afghan schools, bridges, roads and hospitals, we should be making these same investments in our country.

“At a time when the Republican Majority is proposing draconian cuts to vital services like job training, women's health, and foreclosure prevention programs we can no longer support the priorities of a corrupt government in Afghanistan rather than focusing on our urgent domestic needs.

“The American people know that we can no longer afford to spend $2 billion a week to build the nation of Afghanistan.  That’s why this week I supported a measure that calls for the end of American military operations in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Afghan people to build, operate, and maintain their own civilian and military capacity. The long-term security interests of the United States and stability in that region of the world will only be advanced when the people of Afghanistan assume these responsibilities.  The United States cannot maintain a presence there indefinitely. We need to focus our taxpayer dollars on rebuilding our own country, investing in our own infrastructure, our own education systems, and our own health care system.

“A continued investment in Afghanistan further puts our own national and economic security at risk. That’s why we need to bring our troops home safely and honorably – and by the end of the year.”